Linn Co Factory Farm Fight Heats Up

Nearly 100 People Demand Linn County Vote No on Factory Farm Near Center Point

Nearly 100 independent family farmers and everyday people from Center Point and across Linn County stood up and spoke out for clean air, clean water, a decent quality of life, and a family farm-based rural economy that works for everybody Monday morning at a factory farm public hearing in Cedar Rapids.

The opposition was organized by local-area members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) and the crowd demanded that the Linn County Board of Supervisors crack down on factory farm pollution and deny a construction permit for a  giant 5,600-head factory farm proposal linked to Maschoff Pork and a local hog janitor named Matt Ditch.

Regina Behmlander, an Iowa CCI member from Center Point, Iowa had this to say:

As a family who lives and works in Linn County we are highly opposed to the factory farm that is proposed by Matt Ditch and Maschoff Pork on 4853 West Otter Road.  This facility would contaminant our ground water and pollute our fields beyond repair.

Factory farming is a lose lose for everyone involved except for companies like Maschhoff Pork and local hog janitors like  Matt Ditch.  This factory farm will not boost our local economy. They will not buy their feed from local businesses. They will not be hiring local workers. And the over two million gallons of toxic waste that will need to be knifed into our surrounding fields every year will be damage our roads.

As the saying goes one death is a tragedy 100 deaths is a statistic.  My two young boys with special needs are not a statistic, they are created by God and precious to the world.  This factory farm would force us out of our home because staying would mean a death sentence for my boys with Prader-Will Syndrome. And to add insult to injury we would have to sell our property for half it value.  Everything we have ever worked for would be gone.

Iowa CCI members argued that the proposed site does not meet the legal requirements for a construction permit and challenged 145 points on the submitted “Master Matrix” score.  440 points are needed to pass, and the developer scored himself 450 points.  But after the 145 erroneous points are subtracted, the developer only has 305 points, legally obligating the county to recommend the Department of Natural Resources deny the construction permit.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors will make their final decision at 10am on Wednesday.

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